Ah, Sarasota -- home to dead fish, American Idol toothpaste, and, on the plus side, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. I'm currently visiting a friend who's working there, and yesterday she took me on a tour. The museum does have a circus component, but it also has a quite respectable set of paintings, as well as the odd sculpture, sketch, photograph, and antique harpsichord, and it appears that most of the collection is online. My personal favorite is "Time Discovering the Love of Venus and Mars" (shown above), but the most impressive part is probably the group of giant Peter Paul Rubens paintings, which were intended as studies for tapestries commissioned for a convent in Madrid. In the art world, these are referred to as "cartoons," but don't think Mickey Mouse -- they're extraordinary paintings in their own right. You can check out a few of them after the jump.
The Defenders of the Eucharist
The Four Evangelists
The Meeting of Abraham and Melchized